A Prayer for Those in the Second Half of Life (and for Those in the First Half)

Last Saturday, I was asked to write and give an invocation at the first-ever  PerennialGen Workshop in Wheaton, Il with the theme, “Growing Sage (wise) in the Second Half of Life”. Perhaps you will relate to this prayer I prayed for all of us there that morning.

Photo by Amanda Estep Cleary * Trinity Episcopal Church, Wheaton

Oh, God, our  help in ages past
All the ages we’ve ever been
ages we are now
ages we’ve yet to be,
Each one presenting new challenges
for we’ve never been that age before.

The age when we hope Jesus won’t return
before the big party
before we get the degree and the job to go with it
the engagement ring and the wedding band
before we became
mothers, grandmothers, aunts
business women, entrepreneurs.
The age when heaven seems
nearer than before
when we pray Jesus  will take us home
content to go
longing to be with loved ones
already there.|

There’s age of
dreaming big dreams
working hard
making it happen.
the age when we doubt our dreams
the age we begin to realize
not all our dreams will come true
and you have been here all along and
are still here for the letting go.

There is the age of productivity
our lives full of
good things
important things
when we feel like we will live forever
our parents always there for us.

There’s the age we see our parents caring
for their parents
when we don’t stop to think much about
us caring for them someday
The age we know we will
and the wondering how will we do it
the age we are in the middle of it all
still wondering.

There is the age it dawns on us
the years before us
are far less than
the years behind us
God, it frightens some of us,
I suppose all of us at some point
and we wonder if we’ll finish well.

There’s the age we find
the number of our friends matter less than
the quality of our  friends
those who  listen with their hearts
willing to be vulnerable in sharing
their lives and wisdom with us.

There’s the age
when the things we wanted to become are
far less important
than who we are becoming.
And vocation is not our job, rather
who we are
wherever we are

God, by the time we are in our second half of life
we know things learned only in the
crucible of pain and loss.
and we look back and see you never
wasted our  suffering
when we cooperated with you.

We’ve learned we don’t have to respond
to each opportunity presented to us
now content with responding to needs
taking into account how we are wired
more aware of our limitations.

We find we are quick to listen
less likely to offer solutions
for we have learned presence
is more important than advice
And some things will never be resolved
this side of heaven.

You, oh God, have been our help in ages past.
and you’ll be our hope for years to come
Continue to be our guide while life shall last
and be our eternal home.

Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received her frame
From everlasting you are God,
through endless years the same.

May we continue to
grow sage
remaining faithful
as we move
from doing
to being.

We have seen your faithfulness
in our yesterdays.
May we trust you
for our todays
and our tomorrows

In Jesus’ name we pray,
Amen

………..
This prayer first appeared 9/16/2018 ThePerennialGen blog

 

 

 

7 Replies to “A Prayer for Those in the Second Half of Life (and for Those in the First Half)”

  1. So, so lovely, Carol! And how I wish it had been published side-by-side with my recent essay at SheLoves about aging. Thanks so much for this beauty today — I’m late in reading, but not in appreciating.

  2. Carol, I read this several times it does bring comfort especially this week as I received news of a HS classmates passing and another who is under hospice care. Also a sister and sister-in-law battling cancer. I had to go to my hymn book and sing the whole hymn. It will ring in my head all day. Thanks for sharing it.

  3. This is one of my favorite pieces of your writing Carol…. deeply comforting and challenging at the same time. It’s like an ancient soul hymn; eloquent and universal. Yes, oh yes, says my soul.

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